Bugscope in Elementary Science Teacher Preparations

Student work from 5th class; Mr. Joe Finn, Jr., teacher (Marquette Alum)

Developers of Bugscope created a call for more teachers to experience Bugscope in the classroom. They specifically proposed that preservice teacher programs, that prepare science educators, model the possibilities of this sort of remote technology in curriculum implementation.  According to Thakkar et al (2000), “Another possible future direction may be to encourage preservice teacher participation. Only a small number of teachers (15%, N=34) who participated in the project during the first year indicated that they had preservice teachers in their classrooms. Recent reports, such as those from the National Science Foundation (NSF, 1996) and the National Science Board (NSB, 1999) highlight the importance of improving future teacher preparation, especially through the use of information technology (e.g., NSF, 1998). Thus, the project may also have to encourage and solicit applications from preservice teachers, either as part of their undergraduate coursework or classroom student teaching.”  Their call came to fruition when pre-service teachers experienced, and implemented, Bugscope sessions in their science methods courses at Marquette University (starting in 2001) and currently at California State University, East Bay (since 2009). Approximately 850 preservice teachers since 2001 have used Bugscope in planning curriculum (see attached power points) in their college level methods course that integrates science literacy, reading, and writing skills. They developed an understanding of how to ask and answer their own questions online, and in real-time with actual scientists and computer experts. It is important for future teachers to experience remote technologies in an authentic fashion – in a way that connects the intended use of the technology to the process of science. Students and teachers collect their own data by using an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) where they can examine their own insect and spider specimens if they choose.

Selection from Ms. Nicole Schneider's (Marquette Alum) summer class - students wrote stories incorporating things they learned from their Bugscope session

Here is an example of a student power point that outlines the use of Bugscope in the elementary classroom. The images from Bugscope found in this power point were obtained during a session at California State University East Bay (


sample from CSU – East Bay credential program (Fall 2010)

sample from CSU – East Bay credential program (Fall 2010)

Sample student webpage, Marquette University Graduate, Joseph Finn, Jr.

“Bugscope provided a virtual field trip for our students that changed their perspective on not only insects, but the world around them, forever. Seeing such minute details in great clarity sparked their imagination, creativity, and curiosity. They were driven towards asking questions related to ecosystems, functions of different anatomical features, and even career choices. The Bugscope staff was able to answer every question in kid friendly terms without the students feeling like they were being talked down to by a professor. It is an experience that no student will soon forget.” Joe Finn Jr. – 6th grade teacher, Horizon Elementary

References: See Bugscope Publications Page


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